As we approach the end of 2022, the N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) team would like to express our heartfelt thanks to our participating organizations for making this a great year.
We would like to share some of the amazing accomplishments our team has had in 2022.
Provider Relations & Outreach:
- Launched NC HealthConnex Promotional Video
- Conducted outreach to unconnected providers; 28,395 letters and emails between Feb 14 - March 7
- Executed 665 Participation Agreements representing 2,120 facilities
- Completed 97 trainings, as well as 3 Teletown Hall webinars, 12 How to Connect webinars, and 11 conference presentations
- Distributed participant survey
- Added 3,195 facilities to the Network since January 2022
- Added 3 states to Patient Centered Data Home network and 2 via the eHealth Exchange network
- Continued to support direct integrations to the CVMS, NCIR and ELR via the HIE
- Added 26 participants to NC*Notify service
- Performed data integrity audit for patient matching
- Developed population health Stroke Registry Dashboard with the Division of Public Health
- Delivered record linkage for DHHS that has now allowed broader insight across their population
- Delivered Priority Data Element data extracts to Medicaid and PHPs required for monthly performance measurement to support value-based care
- Provided annual extract to Medicaid of clinical data elements needed to run hybrid quality measures (Diabetes, Hypertension, BMI measures, and Depression Screening)
For NC HealthConnex Participants: There’s Still Time to Take the 2022 NC HealthConnex Survey
Feedback is a gift!
Please take some time in the next few days to complete the 2022 Participant Survey by following this link:
(This survey is now closed)
This survey allows us to gauge the effectiveness and ease of use of setting up and using NC HealthConnex and gives our participants an opportunity to provide feedback as to how we can improve the quality of services offered.
Questions span topics such as Onboarding, Training, Data Quality, Use, and Services. If you are a full participant, this survey should take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. If you are a submit only participant, you will answer questions regarding onboarding, customer service, and general interest in additional services. This should take no more than 10 minutes.
Please respond to this survey no later than Friday, December 30.
Comment Period Open for Proposed Ruling Regarding Changes to SUD Patient Records – Providers Encouraged to Respond
The U.S. Health and Human Services Department (HHS), the Office of Civil Rights (OCR), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) have proposed a rule change affecting the sharing of patient records for those receiving substance use treatment.
Patients receiving treatment for substance use disorder (SUD) often struggle with fears of discrimination or incarceration, preventing them from seeking treatment. Sharing of records for patients receiving substance use treatment in a federally funded program is prohibited under the Confidentiality of Substance Use Disorder Patient Records under 42 CFR part 2, known simply as “Part 2.”
While the regulations currently allow substance use disorder patients to designate an HIE as recipients of their Part 2 data, the NC HIEA's current policy is to prohibit this submission to NC HealthConnex. This is due to the inability to track and manage patient consent or to prohibit further disclosure to unauthorized recipients. Please see our Behavioral Health Sensitive Data Policy for more information.
The difficulty in sharing these records means that other health care providers may not have access to the information they need to effectively coordinate care for these patients. A primary care provider, for instance, could be completely unaware of the behavioral health care provider’s treatment plan.
The proposed ruling would allow behavioral health providers to share information more easily than they have in the past, improving whole-person care and coordination for patients undergoing treatment for SUD. The proposed rule would also increase protections regarding the unauthorized disclosure of patient records, helping patients feel secure in how their information is being used and shared.
The HHS is encouraging health care providers and other health care professionals to submit comments on the proposed changes during the 60-day comment period, which ends on January 31, 2023. Interested parties can read the Notice of Proposed Rule-Making (NPRM) document on Regulations.gov or the Federal Register website and submit comments. The HHS has also provided a fact sheet highlighting the proposed changes.
The NC HIEA will be reviewing the proposed rules to understand how the changes could impact substance use data sharing in North Carolina.
January 1st Deadline is Around the Corner
The mandate for health care organizations and providers that serve state-funded patients on January 1, 2023, is approaching in 8 days. What does that mean for organizations subject to the HIE Act?
- See our What Does the Law Mandate? Page for a summary of the requirements in the 2022 Appropriations Act and Statewide Health Information Exchange Act.
- Our Connection Deadline FAQs answer questions specifically related to the mandate deadline.
- Our General FAQs on NC HealthConnex give more answers about the impacts on NC HealthConnex participants and non-participants.
You can find answers to questions on these and other topics on our FAQs page.
The NC HIEA is ready to assist providers with understanding how these legislative changes affect them. Please contact us at email@example.com or 919-754-6912.
- How to Connect Webinar – Wednesday, January 30, 2023, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. To register, click here.
- Teletown Hall - Wednesday, February 22, 2023, 12:00 p.m. to 1 p.m. To register, click here.
- Advisory Board Meeting – Thursday, March 2, 2023, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. To attend, click here.
In the News
Building Public Health Data Infrastructure Is Key to Precision Public Health - Leveraging health information exchanges gives public health the functionality needed to modernize and flex to the ever-changing landscape of disease and need around us. (https://www.hcinnovationgroup.com/)
Provider Groups Applaud CMS Prior Authorization Proposed Rule - The response from provider organizations has been largely positive to a CMS proposed rule that would make the prior authorization process more efficient and transparent. (https://www.hcinnovationgroup.com/)
AHA Asks CMS to Halt National Healthcare Provider Directory Operation - The hospital group listed several concerns with the CMS proposed national healthcare provider directory, ranging from provider burden concerns to lack of technical readiness. (https://ehrintelligence.com/)